Aliens Love Underpants! Oh, how first graders love this book. We read the book and made a web of descriptive words for the aliens, and I gave them three choices of writing prompts on underpants-shaped paper. Two of the choices were actually prompts, ‘If I met an alien, I…’ and ‘What do the aliens do with the underpants?’ and the third was for my lower students: ‘Aliens are _______!’ I let them choose their prompt, and as usual I was pleasantly surprised by a few very low students choosing a more challenging option. After the writing was done, they got to create their aliens to wear the underpants writing, and the aliens went up on the board.
In the afternoon, I first used the now-completed aliens for math. We compared alien eyes, colors, smiles, all sorts of things. Then students got to choose one type of underpants (boxers, briefs, bloomers) and we filled in a “somebody/wanted/then/so” story map on the back, then they got to color the fronts. I strung a “clothesline” across the room and hung them up as students finished, and there was much giggling! It was such a fun day.
This year, I have my entire class doing Passport Club. So I’ve incorporated map skills into our morning meeting routine with a “pointer flag” I made from some clear plastic and a yardstick (okay, so a regular pointer would work just as well, but it wouldn’t be as much fun, right?). I also made a “passport club center” with placemat-type maps, small pointer flags made from more plastic and rulers, a globe, and some atlas books. This month the goal is just to know the continents (at level 1 anyway…I’m only doing level 1 goals in class, and students are welcome to study for higher levels at home). Last, I put continent cards into a big die so students can test themselves (and oh boy, they love it). I want to add more to the center, like a world map floor puzzle, and I’m not sure what else, yet!
Talk Like a Pirate Day was this past Friday, and boy I had fun with it, as usual! I wore my pirate hat all day and carried a miniature treasure chest filled with plastic pirate gold, which I handed out whenever I “caught” students being awesome. I put pirate pencils in every student’s pencil cup before school started. I taught them a game where if I ever said, “Ahoy mateys!” they all had to stop and respond, “Aye aye, captain!” and wait for further instructions. (Oh, they were adorable.) We even made “hook hands” out of paper cups and pipe cleaners.
We made our pirate glyph, a bit changed from last year but basically the same. But this year, instead of making it a writing project (writing a talking bubble with something a pirate would say), I made it our math workshop that day. We got the pirates done in the morning, I got them up on the wall during lunch, and in the afternoon we were able to count and compare/contrast. The students really got into it, using their mini white boards to make tally marks and such. We then recorded some of our findings.
It was such a fun day!
I got tired of my school-issued, same-as-everyone-else’s stapler being stolen. (“Oh, is this yours? Ha ha ha, they all look the same so I thought it was mine!”)
Look at my new stapler. It is GOLD. Sooooo shiny! Nobody can ever claim now that they “thought it was theirs”!
Now I want to staple ALL the things!
Over the summer, school computer files were moved to new servers and ALL OF “MY DOCUMENTS” ARE GONE. All of them. Gone. 14 years of documents. GONE. Not only that, but I can no longer even SAVE any NEW documents. Because the entire file is GONE.
They are working on it. I am told that my documents still exist, I just can’t access them, and I dearly hope that’s the case. I’m trying not to tear my hair out…school starts Wednesday and if nothing else, I have got to have my “first day of school” newsletter to send home. I’d really, really rather not have to try and recreate it.
It’s our first day back, for meetings and the open house tonight. The kids arrive a week from today. I have to admit that I’m not as enthusiastic and excited as usual, as I’ve had a terrible summer. But finding these pencil cup holders gave me my first bit of glee in a long while! Aren’t they awesome? Now students have a place to keep their own scissors, a glue stick, and of course a few pencils. They can carry the cups away or reach them from where they sit, too. I added number tags to each that correspond to each seat’s number. The holder parts did have handles but they fell off if you looked at them too hard, so I decided to just remove them now.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this works out as well as I hope it does!